No way back for Baldwin

PAT Baldwin's seven-year association with Colchester United looks set to come to an end after dropping in manager Aidy Boothroyd's estimations.The 27-year-old defender - who started Boothroyd's first game in charge as captain back in September - was sent out on loan to League One rivals Bristol Rovers at the end of November.

Stuart Watson

PAT Baldwin's seven-year association with Colchester United looks set to come to an end after dropping in manager Aidy Boothroyd's estimations.

The 27-year-old defender - who started Boothroyd's first game in charge as captain back in September - was sent out on loan to League One rivals Bristol Rovers at the end of November.

And while Boothroyd said at the time that the temporary switch was purely for Baldwin to gain match fitness following an eight week spell on the sidelines, the U's boss now says that things have changed.

“To be honest, when he first went out, it was very much the case that he was still in the picture, but maybe it is now the right time for him to move.

“I have got four very good centre-halves and he's now fifth in line. He's captained this club and done so well, but things change and I think I have been very open and fair with him.

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“I've had a few calls about him, but until I speak to him and his representatives he's still a Colchester United player as far as I'm concerned.”

Baldwin - who still has two and half years left on his contract - looks set to be one of a number of players who will be leaving the Weston Homes Community Stadium in this month's transfer window.

“There are a few that need to move on,” admitted Boothroyd, who has close to 30 players with first team squad numbers.

“Jamie Guy, Matt Lockwood and Alan Maybury have not really had many opportunities, they are professional footballers that that want to play football and I totally understand that.

“David Perkins (currently on loan at Chesterfield) made it clear that he wanted to go back to the north west when I arrived and then he comes and tells me he wants to go to Southend, so that's a bit of a funny one really. He's another, along with the ones I've

mentioned, that needs to move on.

“I don't see the point in keeping people that don't want to be here. I want to push on with this club and we can't do that carrying dead wood.”

- For full Preston v Colchester match preview, see tomorrow's EADT. For comprehensive live match updates, search Stuart_Watson at www.twitter.com.

COLCHESTER United manager Aidy Boothroyd wants to strengthen his squad in this month's transfer window - but he won't rush into any panic signings.

Striker Kayode Odejayi officially joins the U's on a permanent basis from Championship club Barnsley for an undisclosed fee today following his seven goals in a three-month loan spell.

And Boothroyd says that a similar deal to make Watford loanee John-Joe O'Toole a permanent addition to his squad - the midfielder having also impressed during his spell at the Weston Homes Community Stadium - is “90% of the way there”.

But with top goalscorer Kevin Lisbie - who has played the majority of his games on the right wing - returning to employers Ipswich Town next week, Boothroyd wants to further reinforce his midfield.

“In central midfield we've really only got three players (O'Toole, Kemi Izzet and David Fox) so that might be an area I will look at,” said the U's boss.

“Kevin Lisbie is going back to Ipswich and, although Ashley Vincent will be like a new signing for us when he's back from injury, we might need to do something at right-midfield too.

“In the other positions we are in good shape, apart from maybe left-back where we haven't got much cover for Marc Tierney.”

Some reports from Peru this week have indicated that Nolberto Solano - who was on trial with the U's in the week leading up to Christmas - had already signed for Colchester. However, Boothroyd says that is not the case and that a further trial will be required if the former Newcastle star is to make the move from Peruvian champions Universitario.

He said: “The situation is ongoing with Nobby. He came to have a look at us and I wanted to have a look at him, but unfortunately he arrived during our arctic weather and I didn't get much chance to see much of him. He's back in Peru at the moment, but he'll be coming back so we can have a proper look at him.”

Boothroyd added: “I am not going to get too excited with the transfer window - the players that come in have to be the right ones.

“It's like the sales at this time of year, they can be madness. I've been sucked into that before and I won't be making that same mistake again. We'll have to stay cool.”

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